November 19

‘Loyal Creatures’ By Morris Gleitzman

loyal creaturesHave you ever wanted to hear a story about a boy who went to WW1 with the Light horse? Me too! Time to hop right into the report.

Frank Ballantyne is keen to join the Light Horse and do his bit in the war effort. So Frank fakes his age and volunteers with his horse Daisy … and his dad. In the deserts of Egypt and Palestine he experiences all the adventure he ever wanted to know about the exciting war, and a few things he wasn’t expecting. Sad moments, love and the chance to make the most important choice of his life. From being at Gallipoli to the famous charge at Beersheba, through to the end of the war and its unforgettable aftermath, Frank’s story tells a lot about WW1 and grows out of some key moments in Australia’s history.

The main character is called Frank who is a fifteen-year-old boy who had his mum pass away and has a crush on the girl who works at the pharmacy.

The other main character is named “Dad” and he is mostly known for not wanting for his son to go to war, and later on meeting up with his son in war.

He also has a horse named Daisy who goes to war with him. As the story develops, so does their friendship and their bond as a boy and his horse.

I enjoyed reading this book because of the emotional roller coaster that it takes you on while reading this book; they can make you feel a range of different emotions, which is why I found this book very enjoyable.

I would recommend this book to an age demographic of 12 and above because of its disturbing scenes when going to war. It is also a good read for anyone who fancies a book about true friendship and bonding.

-Robbie W, Year 9


November 13

‘Brotherband: The Outcasts’ by John Flanagan

BrotherbandImagine you and your friends are on a splintered ship sailing through the treacherous, rough and unforgiving seas. Well that is what Hal, a young Viking in training has to face in order to get his victorious title.

This amazing novel is only one of many of John Flanagan fictional quests and is certainly a thrill to the reader. It is filled with challenges, raids and extraordinary adventures that leave you in cliff hanging suspense. John Flanagan has started an extremely enjoyable series and his endless thought and amazing plot lines make this book impossible to overlook.

Life for Hal has never been great. He has had to grow up without a father figure to look up to, which is difficult when you live in a town best known for its warriors. He is also known as an outcast due to his heritage, a slur that will stay with him for the rest of his life. But Thorn, Hal’s best friend, slowly shakes him out of that thought and helps him become the leader and warrior he always wanted to be and, in the future, needed to be.

The cruel and harsh trial of the Brotherband training is the only way anyone in the town can become a fierce warrior. Teams are put head to head and try to survive the fierce environment that the Brotherband’s training has to offer. When the rules change and a third team is allowed to participate, Hal finds himself with the role of captain of the ship Heron and a crew of outcasts like himself who have barely even seen each other. It is up to Hal to show his team what the Brotherband training is really about and train them harder than they have ever trained before so as they can have even the slightest chance of winning.

This is an unbelievable novel and I have read nothing like it. In every corner you are given close calls and kept in cliff hanging suspense. John Flanagan’s amazing skills of writing thrilling adventure, action and fantasy novels have really excelled in this book especially. He sets the scene perfectly and with such attention to detail, so much so that it actually feels like you are in the action.

I highly recommend this book, especially to teenage boys looking for an amazing adventure. This is definitely one of John Flanagan’s best and he keeps you on the edge of your seat till the very end. I give this book a 5/5 as it kept me in the thrill and action of a real medieval Viking journey from beginning to end and is a fantastic start to a series that I am now looking forward to reading.

Caillin, Year 9


Are you a person who loves adventure books filled with challenges and fighting? Well Brotherband: the Outcasts is the book for you with many adventurous challenges involving navigation and battling. The story is set in the times of the Vikings on an island called Skandian where groups of boys are placed into bands where they must complete challenges for points.

Hal is the main character in the story who unwillingly finds himself the leader of the Herons whose guardian is his friend Thorn who was requested to protect Hal by Hal’s father when he died.

I liked the book because the book has interesting challenges and makes you not want to put the book down. This is also a good book because it had heaps of action to keep the book exciting and the book is easy to read and people can easily relate to some characters.

I would recommend this book to males aged between 12 and 17 who are interested in action-adventure books because teenagers can relate to some characters.

I would rate Outcasts a 4 out of 5 stars because it is an enjoyable book to read.

I personally don’t know why you haven’t read this book yet if you haven’t read it. You won’t regret it. It’s a ‘must read’ book.

Jack, Year 9

June 17

‘Dragonkeeper’ by Carole Wilkinson

dragon-keeper“He grabbed the old woman and shoved her in the direction of the food store. You go with her, rat-girl, he shouted.”

The novel Dragonkeeper is about a slave girl, a dragon and a mysterious stone. Ping, the main protagonist, finds herself in a village with an evil master, Master Lan. Master Lan makes her a slave to look after the dragons though Ping is not interested in feeding the dragons and usually takes their food for herself. After one of the dragons dies a cruel death, Ping realises she needs to look after the last dragon in the village. Ping and the dragon start to grow fond of each other and she finds a stone in the dragon’s pen. After Ping lets the dragon out of the pen, Ping gets in huge trouble. She needs to escape or she will be executed but then she realises that the stone means heaps to the dragon and it won’t leave without it. Ping and the dragon named Danzy escape with the stone on a big journey across the land to the sea.

The book is an unbelievably great fictional fantasy/adventure novel. It as an amazing story of Ping. The start of the book drags you into the story, which you cannot leave until you have read the whole book. The story leaves you in suspense making you want to read on and on. I cannot tell you enough how good this book is. Even without illustrations the book is so well worded that you can just imagine everything happening. This book has been extremely thought out. It leaves me wanting to read more of Carole Wilkinson’s books. I would recommend this book to everyone because every age and gender would love this book.

Max D. Year 8


“Dinner time,” she said. One dragon stirred. She could barely make out its shape. It lifted its snout to sniff the food, then turned its head away.’

Did this sentence sound interesting? This book is called the Dragonkeeper. It is a fantasy tale of a nameless slave girl and a dragon who travel through ancient China to reach the ocean, carrying a purple dragon stone with them and encountering many dangers on their strange quest, a journey of friendship and self discovery.

Danzi (the dragon) gives Ping her name and they escape together with Ping’s friend Hua who is a rat and they make their way out of palace of Huangling carrying the dragonstone towards the ocean. They face many trials, dangers and distractions along the way. Pursued by both Diao and The Necromancer on their journey, they overcome these evil men, and also meet The Emperor.

The protagonist Ping is brave, kind and courageous. I think Dragonkeeper is an amazing written book. Its vocabulary is very rich and full of descriptive language that helps build an image of the towns and villages of ancient China, where the story takes place. I recommend this book because it is a terrific book, and I want to share the joy it gave me. It is an exciting book and it is hard to put down, and it makes you want to read to the bitter end. I think that this book is well suited for people who like fantasy and fictional novels, I believe it is suitable for readers aged 10 and above because of the difficult vocabulary. And I rate this book 8/10 because I enjoy the way the characters act and have emotion and I enjoy the setting of the book.

Ethan P., Year 8


” A bamboo bowl flew through the air, aimed at the slave girl’s head.”

The book is set in the far western mountains of the Han Empire in ancient China, where an ageing dragon and a young slave girl named Ping are abused and neglected by the cruel Master Lan. Nameless and alone, the slave girl is without hope. Ping’s only friend is her pet rat, Hua. Long Danzi gave Ping a stone which he said to keep safe. After that Hua, Long Danzi and Ping escape the Palace. Master Lan is Ping’s master. He is a lazy and cruel man and he lies about himself being an Imperial Dragon Keeper. Ping is a slave girl who gets abused by Master Lan and has a friend called Long Danzi. Long Danzi is an ancient green dragon; the last wild imperial dragon in the Han Empire. He travels with Ping.

This is a good read for people who like fiction books because it is about a dragon and a slave girl Ping. Ping has to look after something that looks like a stone. I have enjoyed reading Dragonkeeper because I like fictional books with weird and amazing things and plot twists. I don’t like reading books but this book was a great book. I don’t read books but l liked this book. I just got stuck into this book like I do with caramel chocolate. This book is not like any other book I have read. This book was amazing. I definitely recommend this book to young adults or elderly between the ages of 13 to 25 and 60 and over. If you read the first paragraph you will want to keep reading it. I’d rate this book ‘Dragon keeper’ 7 out of 10.

Lachlan H., Year 8

November 19

‘Crispin, the cross of lead’ by Avi

Crispin_and_the_Cross_of_LeadCrispin is a story about a boy who is a slave, and is living in poverty. This book is set in the 1300s, in medieval England. Crispin was accused of a crime that he didn’t commit: killing his mother. Crispin was forced to run away from his village, taking with him his mother’s cross of lead.

John Aclyffe is the villain of this book, and he is also the one who blamed Crispin for the murder of Asta, Crispin’s mother.  During this getaway from his village, Crispin strives to discover more about his mother and himself, as he doesn’t know much about himself due to his mothers death. People then started hunting him, and Crispin was given the title of the ‘Wolf’s Head’, meaning that anyone who found him could kill him.

This book involves a lot of mystery and action. I would recommend this book to be for ages above 12, and throughout the teenage years, stopping at 18. This book has lots of crazy things that you wouldn’t expect; I was so engaged in the book because after every chapter I read, curiosity just kept me reading.

Some of the main characters include Crispin, Asta who is the mother of Crispin and John Aclyffe, who is the steward of the manor of Stormford. This novel has a very slow start, yet it picks up a very nice pace throughout the book as you read on. This is such an exciting book that I would advise many people within the recommended age range to pick up this book and give it a read. Once reading to the point Crispin starts his wild adventure, there is just no stopping yourself from putting down this novel, as the adventure Crispin goes on is the best part of this book.

Braden G.

November 26

‘The Raging Quiet’ by Sherryl Jordan

Raging quiet      Is it that we judge people too much on their looks and not what’s inside? We make assumptions about people based on what they look like without getting to know who they really are. Raver has had to deal with this his whole life.

      The Raging Quiet is a novel by Sherryl Jordan, which takes place in medieval times. It tells the story of a 15 year old girl, Marnie, who is forced to marry a 50 year old man in order to let her family keep their house and farm. Traveling to their new home in a seaside village near the town of Torcurra, she encounters a boy her age whohad been whipped. The young boy Raver is known as the madman of the village; a boy possessed by demons. Pretty soon Marnie and Raver become close friends. The story then follows the difficulty of this friendship, the villagers accusing Marnie of being a witch because she can communicate with Raver.

       I rate this book a four out of five because the characters are loveable, it has a nice setting and the plot is very interesting. What I’ve enjoyed about the book is the plot and the characters. I like how in the first few pages you can tell what the plot includes and the characters’ personalities. This book is suited to readers who like medieval dramas and friendship or romance stories. It is suited to both boys and girls thirteen and over. I like how Marnie is a stubborn but kindhearted, generous girl, who doesn’t judge people by their looks and Raver is a boy who deep down is a sweet gentle soul who just wants to be accepted.

       Eden, Year 9

October 30

‘Across the Nightingale Floor’ by Lian Hearn

“When illusions are shattered by truth, talent is set free”

Across the Nightingale Floor, Lian Hearn.

 This book is extravagantly beautiful, expressing the horrific and wonderful behaviour and emotions of humans in situations of bloodshed, internal wars of higher power, and love. Based loosely in Ancient Japanese times, Takeo used to be just a simple farm boy from the secret religion of the Hidden, but everything changed when a powerful Lord Iida burnt his village to the ground along with his family. Rescued by a Lord from an opposing clan named Shigeru, Takeo embarks on a marvellous journey of friendship, love and the fiery path of revenge as he soon finds that he is not a normal boy like he thought. Lian Hearn leads the reader into a whole different world, expressing the wonders and horrors of the human race and magnificently places a forbidden love right in the middle of it.

I recommend this book to teens and young adults between the ages of 12 and 20 who are interested in ancient times, loosely Ancient Japanese times. With its thrill and suspense, with many shocking twists and turns, this book is truly worth reading. I rate it 4 out of 5 stars.

Bridey, Year 9.


‘Across The Nightingale Floor’ is a great read for teenagers that are interested in action, adventure, romance and thrill. Its backstory is that of a boy named Tomasu who liked to wander off into the mountains of Japan. He lived in an isolated village away from other little villages and him and his family were safe. One day he wandered off into the mountains and when he came back he saw his whole little village burnt down to the ground. When he runs away and Lord Shigeru Otori finds him. Lord Otori takes him back to the Otori palace where Otori’s friend trains him to be an assassin to kill the man who burned down his village. It is a great book with an awesome storyline. Good read. Connor, Year 9


Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn is a fantastic book. It is a great read for people who enjoy action, adventure, thrill and a little romance.

The book in the beginning is set in the hills of ancient Japan. A young boy named Tomasu is the only survivor of an attack on his village. Everyone is killed and the buildings are burnt down. Tomasu runs away from the people that burnt his village and is saved from pursuers by Lord Shigeru Otori. They travel together to the home of Lord Otori. Lord Otori adopted him there into his family. Tomasu is given the name Teako so people do not know him. As the story continues Teako learns the ways of an assassin so he can kill the person that burnt his village.

This is a great story for people to sit down and read for a long time. You get absorbed into the story so you don’t want to put the book down. Stephen, Year 9

September 19

‘Fleshmarket’ by Nicola Morgan

Many of us know that if we had lived 200 years ago, we would not have lived for very long. Chances are that I would not have even survived my birth! ‘Fleshmarket’ by Nicola Morgan takes us back to life in 1822, providing a rare look at a time when many life conditions, including sanitation and medicine, were far more crude and rudimentary than they are today.

We are introduced to eight year old Robbie, the main character of this novel, in the prologue, where he is bystander at his mother’s breast cancer operation. Performed without anesthetic, the operation which is intended to save her life leads to her death from infection several days later, and Robbie blames the surgeon, Dr Knox, for her death. When family circumstances change for the worse, Robbie becomes fixated on Knox, trying to get close enough to him to work out how to get revenge. But morality is more complex than that, as Robbie’s own values are tested and he comes to understand more of Knox’s life mission.

Inspired by the author’s tour of Surgeon’s Hall in Edinburgh, this is a horrifying glimpse of life in the not-too-distant past. Both Robbie’s mother and Dr Knox are based on true characters, which intensifies the chilling reality and brutality of some parts of the story, including the prologue. For me, the accounts of surgery and post-mortems were almost unbearable, yet this is a true representation of life in that era. Morgan has captured early surgery so well that we quiver at the prospect of living in that era.

Although written with a teenage audience in mind, this novel could be read by adults. Morgan’s writing is powerful, the content definitely thought-provoking, lingering long after the novel is finished. It provides valuable reading to supplement studies of science and medicine in the early 19th century. It is definitely not a read for the faint-hearted! Mrs O.

May 13

‘Dragonkeeper’ by Carole Wilkinson

dragonkeeperIn the Han Dynasty, A young slave girl, named Ping, works for a mean, old dragon keeper named Lan. The dragon keeper is in possession of the two imperial dragons. When one of them dies, Lan is quick to turn the dragon into a pickle for the Emperor and Empress’s meal. On the day of the meal, Lan runs out of wine, and Ping is sent to get more, but when she enters she finds the emperor. If she is seen here it is punishable by death. This is a thrilling tale of dragons and China.  Dante, Year 8

The novel ‘Dragon keeper’ is based in Ancient China in the time of the Han dynasty. A little slave girl saves the life of a dragon and escapes her master. Getting chased by a dragon hunter, the slave and the dragon run all around China holding a mysterious stone that has to protected. It’s a novel about a young slave who thinks she’s not worthy for a name and finds strength and courage to make an epic journey with a dragon. Jon, Year 8

May 13

‘Ranger’s Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan’ by

ruins of gorlan“Will waited in the shadows. Watching and waiting, as silent as the shadows themselves.Then he saw it. A brief flicker of movement but that was enough. In one smooth fluid movement he raised, drew and released his bow.”
The Ranger’s Apprentice books are just great! I don’t have a favourite one so I decided to write about the first one. In the first book, ‘The Ruins of Gorlan’, it comes to the day when the orphans are assigned to their jobs. Nobody chooses the main character Will – that is because he has already been chosen. As he is leaving, he sees the Ranger Halt hand a piece of paper with writing on it to the Barron. This is a test. When everyone is asleep he creeps to the castle, sneaks past the guards and climbs the tower to the baron’s office like a spider. When he gets there, Halt grabs him and takes him to the Barron. He finally gets to read the piece of paper. It says, “Will has the making of a Ranger. He will be my apprentice.” So Will is the new Ranger’s Apprentice. He goes through hours of endless training with Halt. He also gets a horse. But not just any horse – a specially trained Ranger’s horse named Tug. When it comes to the annual Gathering, they ride out and they find the camp to be deserted except for the leader and Halt’s former apprentice. They learn about the problem – which I won’t say anything about – and go to stop it. That is basically how it goes. It is a really good book and if you read it you must read the others – 10 books in all. Tiana. M, Year 8.

May 13

‘Crispin, the cross of lead’ by Avi

Crispin_and_the_Cross_of_Lead“As a frowning Aycliffe began to fold the document, he turned away. When he shifted, he saw me. Our eyes met. My heart all but stopped.”

Crispin is a story set in England in the 1300’s. This novel is about a boy living in poverty as a slave. After the death of his mother, he is accused of a crime that he didn’t commit. He is then announced to be a ‘wolf’s head’. This means that anyone that catches him can kill him. He is forced to leave his village with his new name and his mother’s cross of lead. This novel at the moment is very interesting. I have not read all of it but at the moment it is living up way past my expectations. If you like books with a bit of mystery and adventure I strongly suggest you read this book. George Yr8

Crispin is a deep and meaningful book. I’ve only read half of it so far but it has got me hooked. Crispin’s mum has died protecting Crispin from evil. But why? Crispin is trying to discover why everyone wanted his mum dead and now is wanting him dead. Maybe it has something to do with his past or with his family. I’ve got to read more to figure that out. Crispin is a great book and I can’t wait to read the rest. Nicholas, Year 8

Crispin The Cross of Lead is a story about a young boy (Crispin) in medieval England. The book starts with the death of Crispin’s mother, which sets up a series of complicating events forcing Crispin to leave the village he has known his entire life and sending him out across the countryside. His journey goes on to see various layers of society. I liked this book myself because you can almost feel what Crispin is going through. Carlo, Year 8

May 16

‘Hitler’s Daughter’ by Jackie French

hitler's daughterIn less then two days I read ‘Hitler’s daughter’. It is a gripping book that I couldn’t put down. It has a great mixture of history and fiction that made it a compelling read. At first I thought, “This won’t be a good book, it will be boring,” but as soon as I turned the first page I couldn’t put it down. It is a story about four schoolkids – Anna, Mark, Ben and Little Tracy – who tell a story as they wait for the bus to take them to school each morning. Anna is the one who tells most of the story but the others pitch in and help. She tells about a girl named Heidi in WWII who has something very interesting about her. She’s Hitlers daughter. I rate this book 4/5. Rachael, Year 8
‘Hitler’s Daughter’ is about a boy named Mark who is very adventurous. The book is a good mystery if you like ‘The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas’. It is the first few sentences that made me love this book: “It was raining the day that Mark first heard about Hitler’s daughter. The cows in Harrison’s paddock were wet and brown and mournful. Raindrops dripped down their noses as they huddled their backs to the wind.” This book is about Hitler’s daughter called Heidi. Heidi was a young girl with brown hair and tanned skin. She had a big scar down her face therefore her dad did not love her. Hitler wanted to only breed one race. The people had to be tall and with blonde hair and blue eyes. Jessica, Year 8 
I’m not a big fan of reading, but this book really got my attention. It is a heartfelt book and it made me realize how lucky I am to have both love from my parents and real care from them. Heidi (Hitler’s daughter) lived in a large house like a castle that her father put her in. He did not live with her but it seemed like he loved her. He tried to give her food she loved to make her happy, but the truth is we’re not truly happy if we don’t have the love and real care from both our mother and father. In this story everyone knew that Hitler was a monster and he could never love anyone besides Heidi, but when you look at it, Hitler didn’t want Heidi to know about all the terrible things that he did, so Heidi was not allowed to leave the house and was not allowed to read the newspaper. If he did this, then he must have love for her because he obviously wanted to protect her and didn’t want to lose her if she found out. When I was reading this book the question that constantly went through my mind was, ‘If Hitler cared for his daughter, why didn’t he live with her not just visit her on special events?’ Besides all that, I think this book is a 4 out 5 and it is a real heartfelt book that caught my attention. Tiana, Year 8
May 5

‘Crispin: the cross of lead’ by Avi

Crispin_and_the_Cross_of_LeadThe book I am reading is ‘Crispin’, but I am not sure I like it because it is a slow moving book that is set in the medieval times. The author has tried to use some middle age terms that are hard to understand and it sounds like we are in the 1300s. The reason I picked up the book is because the blurb sounds good. I am going to read the rest of the book because it is my literature circles book. As much as I don’t like this book my favourite part is where Crispin is on a high rock that looks over the village and the people are plotting against him. I am hope the book gets better as I am only up to a quarter of the way through the book. Fingers crossed. This book would best suit someone who likes reading about medieval times. Sam, Year 8

The beginning of ‘Crispin’ is somewhat slow, yet stunning. The story is set sometime in the Middle Ages. Crispin is the narrator, and he tends to tell the story slowly, but he explains it in a lot of detail. You can see into all of his thoughts and emotions, and that makes it a little more interesting to read. I’d recommend this for older kids, because younger children will become a little reckless with the slow beginning. Oh, and I forgot to mention, there are some forms of action in this book, and that makes it really exciting to read. I’ve read a little more than a quarter of this book, and I’m enjoying it. It gets better the more you get into it, which can be a bad thing, because some people will put the book down before good parts come in. Overall, it’s a pretty decent book. James, Year 8

Crispin is the main character of the book. He has a very disturbed childhood and has a problem right at the start – he loses his mother. At the start of the book, Crispin gets accused of a crime he didn’t commit. As a result of this he gets the title of “A wolf’s Head”, which means he isn’t human. John Aycliff, the villain of this book, accused Crispin of this crime, and he has hated Crispin since the start. The start of this book is slow but the further I got into it, the more interesting it became. The start of the book is very gloomy and makes you feels sad. This book is about Crispin trying to discover his father, find out everything his mother had never told her about herself, his father and even himself, but this is hard due to the fact that his mother is dead. This book is about Crispin trying to discover his very own identity. Crispin is very confused and angry at the start. Crispin has no friends, and can only trust the village priest. This book is a great book for anyone who likes medieval times and likes action. This book will leave you on the edge of your seat for every second. By Daniel Yr 8

This book, ‘Crispin’, is about a boy of the age of thirteen who has a very unfortunate life. His mother has just died and the acting king of his city has framed him for stealing and put a bounty on his head. He is forced to go into hiding and on his travels, he finds a travelling entertainer who takes him in to be his apprentice. The author, Avi, has written this book very well and has used very nice words; it feels like I’m actually there when I’m reading this book. I enjoy this book because it has a lot of suspense and all of the characters are very mysterious, theses are the kind of books that I like to read. Sterling, Year 8

‘Crispin’ is a book with action, adventure and drama. I dislike this book because it doesn’t make much sense in the beginning. When Crispin was running away from Aycliff and the stranger I had a image in my mind of Crispin running away from them, but in the beginning I couldn’t  imagine Crispin there at the cemetery when his mum died. This book’s interest is like a bouncy ball. It bounces high and falls back down again. If I had to rate this book I would rate it a four out of ten. I would recommend this book for people between 12 and 15. I wouldn’t recommend it to people who are having a bad time because this book is quite sad. Josh, Year 8

April 28

‘Across the Nightingale Floor’ by Lian Hearn

Across the nightingale floor2‘Across the Nightingale Floor’ is about a boy called Takeo, who comes home to his village one day to discover that he has lost his family in a massacre. He is the last survivor in his village. In this book, in every chapter the characters change. The first chapter is about Takeo, the second about a girl called Kaede, and then back to Takeo. Sometimes it becomes unclear which character the story is talking about. There are also Japanese names in the book that appear hard to pronounce, therefore it is hard to remember who is who. Having read only half of the book, and thinking it has been a bit hard to follow, I’m guessing that the two characters and their stories will meet up somehow in the end. I would recommend this book for students in older grades of high school. If I could ask the author, Lian Hearn, any question it would be “What inspiration did you get to write this book?”  It would be interesting to see how they got the idea for this fast-paced novel. Ruby, Year 8

I have nearly finished the book “Across The Nightingale Floor” and it has been a very different story to what I was expecting. The chapters in this book are very long and can be quite confusing especially because in each chapter the main characters change. There are also a lot of other characters with confusing names in this book which can be hard to remember and also make it difficult to keep track of what is going on. This book is a heart felt novel with unexpected turns along the way. I felt upset for Takeo at the start of the book when he lost everyone he loved in a massive destruction by Lord Iida. I can’t wait to finish so I can see if Takeo ends up with his secret lover. If I could ask the author anything, I would ask him how he came up with the idea for this book. Because there are two different stories in the same book it becomes a fast-paced read which older students will enjoy.  Hayley, Year 8

Even though I love two worlds in a story, this one is just confusing. One part is about a boy, Tomasu, who is left without a family and home after his tribe and land are destroyed by the country’s leader, Iida. Tomasu, being the only survivor, is spotted and chased into the forest where Lord Otori Shigeru saves him. The other part is about a girl, Kaede, who is traded into slavery at the age of seven to secure an alliance between her family and the Noguchi’s. Kaede experiences many troubles but always seems to avoid consequence with the help of her friend Lord Arai. I believe these two characters will cross paths and the stories will link. This book is for slightly advanced readers, as it requires thinking skills and a very good memory.  Brodie, Year 8

This book is very confusing to read. There are two stories in the book and at some stage, they collide. Before the stories began to connect, I found it very complicated to understand which character the book was talking about. But as you get further into the book, it becomes much easier to know the story line. The first story is about a boy who loses his family and tries to begin his life again. The other story is about a girl who is troubled and having a hard time living her life. I have not yet completed reading this book but have absolutely no idea how it will end as there are many possible scenarios. At the end of each chapter you need to examine the hidden messages, e.g. what was the main part in the chapter, what helped you understand more about the book etc. This book is for quite mature readers as it uses a very descriptive writing technique. If you like challenges then this book is DEFINITELY for you! Ashlee, Year 8.

This book follows two people in ancient Japan. The first is a girl named Kaede, who has lived in the Noguchi castle for eight years, since she was seven. She only leaves the castle when Lady Maruyama takes her away. Takeo, the second person, is adopted; when he went back to his town he was shocked at what he saw. This book confuses me because it is constantly jumping between the two story lines without warning. This book is for more advanced readers because the traditional Japanese names can distract people from what they are actually reading. This book also talks about different clans and regions that can also perplex the reader. “Across the Nightingale Floor” is a well-written book but I tend to shy away from books when the narration swaps between characters. I thought this book was extremely eloquent and very descriptive but it didn’t really interest me. Susannah Year 8.

July 20

‘Scrimshaw’ by Nazam Anhar

scrimshawAuthor Nazam Anhar has written a great read. It’s got what all pirate stories need – a captain who wants revenge, an untrustworthy first mate and a lost boy. The story follows a young man named Nathan who is captured by a pirate crew. As his trip with the pirates unfolds, Nathan finds that not all of them are murderous men bent on stealing and killing. Along his journey, Nathan discovers he can do things that he never thought he could. This book if full of mystery and intrigue. I recommend it. Sam, Year 9